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The Q? Blog

Who Knew?! My Introduction to Smithsonian Greenhouses

by Jordan -- Jul 15, 2014
Jordan, a YES! intern

My name is Jordan. I attend high school in Maryland. My favorite subject is chemistry, which I would like to study in college along with mathematics. I...

YES! intern Jordan looks at black-eyed Susans in a Smithsonian garden. During her internship with Smithsonian Gardens, she learned how a greenhouse operates. Smithsonian photo.
YES! intern Jordan looks at black-eyed Susans in a Smithsonian garden. During her internship with Smithsonian Gardens, she learned how a greenhouse operates. Smithsonian photo.

Have you ever wondered about the plants placed all around the grounds of the Smithsonian? Did you know the Smithsonian has 14 greenhouses?! This summer I have the opportunity to find the answers to these questions and more!

I joined the team of YES! (Youth Engagement through Science), an Internship at the Smithsonian. I have had the best experience during my time here. The assignment I've been chosen for is with the Smithsonian Gardens. My first reaction to this assignment was excitement! My first time arriving to the greenhouses I thought they were the most beautiful structures I've ever seen.

One of my mentors, Monty Holmes, the Production Manager at the Smithsonian Greenhouses, took me under his wing. Everyone working there was happy, loved their job, and greeted me with open arms. I am trying to start a greenhouse at my high school, and Monty opened my eyes to the complexity of the operation and everything needed to run the greenhouses from the inside out.

I've already learned that one of the greenhouses holds the flowers to the Butterfly Pavilion, which is filled with tropical plants from around the world. An interesting thing about these particular plants, after the plants are done being used in the pavilion, they have to freeze them and throw them away. They are not allowed to keep the plants or compost them because they don't want the risk of attracting an invasive species. Who knew?!

Categories: YES! Teen Interns